Potable water scarcity in Cap Haitien, system sabotage
By Wedlyne Jacques (kft, gp)
English | French
Translated from the French by Dady Chery for Haiti Chery
Cap Haitien, Haiti — No water from the taps of Cap Haitien residents since months. And they must walk several kilometers to reach a source of water.
Some people interviewed by AlterPresse report that they wake up as early as 2:00 to 5:00 am (from 6:00 to 9:00 gmt) to queue for half a day to buy water that is not even fit for drinking, at five gourdes (12 cents) for a five-gallon bucket — which sometimes sells more expensively. (US $ 1.00 = 43.00 gourdes, 1 euro = 58.00 gourdes)
Everywhere: in populous neighborhoods and even in the most exclusive ones, you meet people carrying their containers with wheelbarrows or in a car, in search of drinking water.
Water: an essential resource to satisfy various needs (consumption, washing, hygiene, cooking, etc.), has become increasingly rare in the country’s second city, 248 km north of Port-au-Prince.
The situation became even more unbearable in Summer 2012, as it timidly gave way to Fall.
The rise in temperature caused an increase in the daily consumption needs for water, many people say.
Faced with this situation, National Water Supply and Sanitation Department (DINEPA) administrator Gédéus Rico reported a sabotage of pipes under repair by individuals who recycle scrap metal.
He also noted a depletion of the ground water from the hills of Haut du Cap due to deforestation and the proliferation of uncontrolled construction.
DINEPA is currently working on a water supply system for Cap Haitien including pipes and reservoirs.
This work plans to supply water gradually to the inner-city population of Cap, pending an improvement in the supply system to provide water to other sections of the town, according to the departmental administration of DINEPA.
Sources: AlterPresse (French) | Haiti Chery (English)
UPDATE #1, April 10, 2014 (Radio Metropole): In Miragoane, after one year without municipal water and only sporadic electrical service, thousands of people marched in several protests. One 19-year-old was killed by tear gas during one of the protests. On April 4, 2014, the organizer of the protest movement, Mr. Fitz Gerald Civil, was first shot in the feet and then killed by policemen from the Departmental Unit for Maintenance of Order (UDMO). Had he not been killed, Mr. Civil would have been a candidate in Miragoane’s 2014 legislative and municipal elections. Another protest by thousands of people followed on Wednesday, April 10, 2014.
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